Gary Vaynerchuk just published a new article asking the question “how important is a logo to your business?” I see this question often as well; but it usually takes the form of “why does it cost so much?” Gary’s overall thought was that your brand’s execution is the end result that truly matters and makes a difference. And I agree with him 95.8%.
I tell my clients often that your logo is not your brand and that no amount of marketing can overcome a bad product or bad practice. But for those businesses that do have a good product, process, and brand, take a look at the following statement from Gary himself:
Personally, I don’t love Instagram’s new logo and I didn’t love Uber’s or Medium’s new logos either. That’s one man’s subjective opinion. For the first week since Instagram’s swap, I’ve noticed I have been using the app less. This is likely due to the fact that I got used to the original logo and I’m not used to looking for this new one on my phone. [. . .] Net net, after about 7-8 days I was back to my normal Instagram usage. – Gary Vaynerchuck
If switching the logo can cause a drop in activity from a hyper-focused and uber-intentional user like Gary Vaynerchuk, imagine what happens with an average user? Considering that Instagram is owned by Facebook and was one of the fastest growing social platforms in the last few years, they’ve got the brand equity to absorb an impact like that.
But many brands are not Instagram or owned by Facebook. So the key takeaway here is that brands need to be careful not to make the blanket assumption that changing their logo or identity isn’t important and isn’t going to affect anything. If you do decide to make a change, do so with intent, with understanding, and with supporting data in your pocket.
My Take On Instagram’s New Logo
I had written about my lack of enthusiasm for the new logo on the BelMarketing Facebook Page. I was disappointed to see one of my favorite social media platforms go down this road. I felt that in a sea of bland, gradient-filled sameness that the old Instagram logo was comforting in its anachronistic defiance of all things flat and glyph-y. As Adweek noted, “The brand’s famous skeuomorphic icon, a virtual representation of a physical camera, was beloved almost universally, and is one of the most instantly recognizable logos in tech.”
The old logo perfectly captured the essence of what Instagram’s core feature was – it’s retro filters. Since the platform has outgrown and expanded beyond it’s filters, it makes sense that a new logo would be needed to reflect that. I just feel that considering all the other ideas that they chose not to execute on in their brand video, the new logo is a bit of a miss.
Given all of the disdain for the iOS7 design aesthetic, that no brand would make venture there for a long while. The bottom line for me is that it no longer stands out as the app icon for Instagram. Honestly, it looks like one of the hundreds of camera icons you’d find in a ‘freemium’ design pack on Creative Market or Graphic River.
Or perhaps this was the true design process?
Instagram’s changes aren’t all bad though. Their update to the UI of the app itself allows your photos to stand out more; which of course is the most important thing. I do wish they would have kept the signature orange ‘like’ notification . It would’ve looked fantastic next to the new UI compared to that bland reddish color that’s there now.
So while I’m not a fan, it’ll be interesting to see how the creative community will remix, adapt, and have fun with the new logo. You can check out some of the creative reinterpretations via Design Boom.
So what about you? Love it? Hate it? Don’t care? Feel free to comment and let us now your thoughts as well.